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X-Bomber the Game

Welcome to xbomber.co.uk; home of X-Bomber.

X-Bomber is a a fast, modern vertical-scrolling spaceshooter for Windows.

It is based on the Japanese sci-fi TV series; Star Fleet and features lots of arcade action, weapons and explosions.

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Story Chapter 12015.01.20    Comment icon 0    x

I've been thinking for a while of writing up my backstory to X-Bomber to expand on what the game shows you.
In the fullness of time, I'm thinking of building the narrative into the game in the way that Zone 66 did.
I always found that an effective way of working the story into the game, rather than creating cutscenes on the limited budget of most games of that time that wouldn't have really done the story justice.

I've puzzled for a long time what would be the best format for cutscenes in the game. I wondered whether it would be best to sketch the characters, ships etc. then edit them in photoshop and lastly manipulate them in the game's runtime.
Somehow, I could never picture that working quite the way I wanted.
It probably would have clashed with the style of the sprites anyway.

So, what I have in-mind now is a shoot-em-up with a lot of heavily-illustrated narrative between missions.

Anyway, here's Chapter 1

Happy New Year2015.01.09    Comment icon 0    x

I've been really occupied this week with work - A belated Happy New Year to all.
I'd also really like to thank everyone who's been uploading high scores to the website. It seems to indicate that a lot of people are playing the game, which gives me impetus to continue its development.

I recently read my friend; Vanessa's fanfic prequel to Star Fleet; Rise of the Alliance.
I don't think I've come across such a perceptive story that ties in so well and yet expands so much on the small bits of information that Star Fleet gives about the characters' pasts.
I found it was a brilliantly creative and well-written story.

Oblivion Concept Art2014.12.29    Comment icon 0    x

If found this page full of concept art for Oblivion, which is one of my favourite films: Concept Art World

Merry Christmas2014.12.21    Comment icon 0    x

Here are some Animoto videos that wrap up the screen grabs from Media
Have a brilliant Christmas and New Year to all!
2014 hasn't been a bad year overall, Here's hoping 2015 brings everyone all the things that 2014 didn't get around to.

I'm also getting back into illustrating the story around the game:

Quasar Ship

v0.83g - Upcoming Version2014.12.16    Comment icon 0    x

To Do:
- further upgrades to special weapons and crew chatter
- continuation of Mission 16

Done:
- Full-screen glow when collecting Power-ups
- ADEN Cannon now equally effective against all enemies
- Guest Ally: Impala Star Cruiser (credit: Brad Smith)
- Shields, afterburners and plasma missiles improved
- Space environment logic improved
- Variable engine glow
- Background scrolling logic improved
- GunBoy special weapon improved - more than 8 can be deployed
- Player speed handicap added to allow engine-disabling enemy weapons

Enemy Weapon - Smart Missile2014.12.10    Comment icon 0    x

I was happy with my recent changes to the lime-green smart homing missile that bosses 5 and 13 fire.
By contrast, I've never been perfectly happy with the look of the yellow vector laser that bosses 0, 7 and 16 fire that suddenly zig-zags toward the player.

Since the two weapons fulfil similar functions, rather than re-invent the wheel, I programmed a 'yellow mode' into the smart missile that allows it to behave in the same way as the vector laser - only it looks better and means that I can do away with the vector laser object.

By the same virtue, I did away with the ugly blue bullet that only the defence platforms fire in Level 4 by giving the smart missile a cool 'aqua-blue mode' that acts in the same way by following a random and unpredictable path.

This way is much more efficient in terms of objects and looks a lot cooler.

I'm planning a couple of other modes as well:

Lime - Smooth homing / guidance
Yellow - Zig-zag homing
Orange - Spiral
Aqua - Wander / unpredictable
Purple - 90' homing

In any case they will produce a corresponding-coloured explosion on contact with the player or a friendly, causing them about 20 units of damage.

High Score Uploads2014.12.04    Comment icon 0    x

I noticed today that we had a new high-score uploaded to the website, which surprised me since our hosts have been blocking the game from uploading since I switched back to them a year ago.

The current build of X-Bomber seems to upload scores to the server just fine now. This must be an unintentional result of a change at the hosts' end since I haven't spoken to them about it recently.

At least that's something I can cross off my to-do list.

New enemies2014.12.03    Comment icon 0    x

The site's navigation has been given a bit of a tweak to bring the Star Fleet and Other sections onto the main menu and make them more prominent.

I added some new images of the Evolution Dai-X Figure to the Star Fleet section as well.
My Evolution Dai-X arrived safe-and-sound from Kapow Toys.
They had one left-over that they set aside for me. So I'm really glad to have got it.
I haven't had a great deal of chance to play on with it but everything about it is brilliant.

I also found some images of a fantastic model of Dai-X; apparently Japanese (I couldn't find out much else about it), which you can see on the same page.

I'm working on some new enemies for the game. When I came across the X Bomber Encyclopaedia, I noticed that it contains drawings of a number of enemies that never made it into the TV show itself.
The most obvious is a lizard-shaped half-track tank with a gun in its tail.
There is also a larger, dual-cockpit version of the Alliance Fighter with a larger gun.
The Alliance Cruiser is also a lot different in one drawing; smaller, boxier and without the rear wings.
This gives me an idea for a new variety of Alliance capital ship; maybe not a carrier or a battlecruiser but an assault ship.

Media System Upgrades2014.10.19    Comment icon 0    x

Last month, the website's Media section underwent a range of improvements:

  • Thumbnail size nearly doubled
  • More white space and clearer layout and navigation
  • Star Fleet section re-organised; incorporates the content of Shane Perry's Big Dai-X website
  • Audio/video and downloads more prominent in file listings

More recently, I adjusted it to separate images, media and downloads into separate sections.

Interview with Paul Bliss2014.10.09    Comment icon 0    x

... composer of Star Fleet's soundtrack on Gateway 97.8

The programme features some great samples of Star Fleet's music and seems to have been very well researched.

You can listen to it on the radio station's website or from Media.

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